Monday, July 15, 2013

Stuck In Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine -- U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch said he’s pushing the State Department to help a Dedham mother who has been stranded in Ukraine for weeks unable to bring her newly adopted daughter home because of a passport delay in the former Soviet country.

Christine Caswell McCarron and Kristina at an orphanage in Kiliya, Ukraine.

“I’m not sure when I’m getting out of here. It’s certainly wearing me down at this point and a lot of the other families, too,” Christine Caswell McCarron said in a phone call from Kiev, where she has been waiting for a passport for her daughter for three weeks.

“I feel frustrated because I’m not with my other children.”

Caswell McCarron and her husband, Michael McCarron, traveled to Ukraine last month to finalize their adoption of Kristina, an 11-year-old orphan.

A backlog of passport applications — more than 160,000, according to the family — has left Caswell McCarron, director of Boston College’s communication studies department, and Kristina stranded in the Ukraine, while Michael McCarron cares for the couple’s two sons — 14-year-old Brant and 8-year-old Jace — at home.

“This matter remains confidential, but we can confirm that the McCarron family has been in contact with our office and we are doing everything possible to be of assistance,” Lynch said in a statement.

“We have contacted the State Department, and they are now working on the case. We will continue to work with the McCarron family and the State Department until this matter is resolved.”

The State Department could not immediately provide a comment yesterday on the family’s plight.

Caswell McCarron said she has met a dozen other U.S. families also stranded.

“Even though Kristina is adopted by us, she’s still considered a Ukrainian citizen and she still needs a Ukrainian passport to travel,” Michael McCarron said.

“Christine can leave because she has a passport, but she’s not going to leave our daughter there and Kristina can’t go back to the orphanage because she is now legally our daughter, so they’re stuck in Kiev.”

The family met Kristina last summer when she traveled to the U.S. on a temporary passport for a cultural exchange program for orphans.

Kristina visited again at Christmas and the McCarron family traveled to her orphanage in April.

“When Kristina arrived and spent a month with us, it just clicked,” Michael McCarron said.

“I feel helpless because I’m here and there’s nothing I can do for my wife and daughter. I want to get them home.”

Source: Boston Herald

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